Countries that are not free are ruled by the power of physical force and fraud. Dictatorships use their connections to the free world to get unearned respect, to steal technology and money, and to spread propaganda. When they make agreements with free countries, they routinely break these agreements if they see some benefit and can get away with it. They may engage in some honest trade, but remember that one critical use of the money they make, and the technology they steal, is to upgrade their secret police and military. They engage constantly to add to their weapons and they bully or even take over other countries.
Free capitalist countries deal with one another by voluntary trade. They have very little, if any, incentive to cheat or go to war. War destroys wealth. It should be noted that if dictatorships with advanced weapons did not exist, there would be no need for free countries to build thousands of atomic missiles. If these dictatorships disappeared, there could be a rational and safe trend toward large–scale nuclear disarmament.
In Chapter 6 of the book of Revelation in the Bible, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse symbolize something akin to the last judgment. The horses are colored white, red, black, and pale. Depending on the interpretation, they symbolize:
- Conquest (or pestilence),
- Famine, and
- Death (or plague).
In sum, they symbolize the end of the world. They allegedly represent God’s punishment for rejecting faith, and some say they may preview the second coming of Christ when all accounts will be settled.
The symbols, though not their religious base, can be applied today to the secular world. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse today are China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. These countries are ripe with conquest, war, famine, and death—and we should not try to befriend them. These countries have five anti-freedom and anti-life characteristics in common:
- They are all totalitarian dictatorships, which deny all political rights to their citizens. In this way, they are one-party systems; they crush free speech and the free press; they hold political trials and enact political punishments; and they deny any absolute right to private property. Citizens are forced to live and/or die in obedience to the state.
- These countries are all imperialistic. If they can get away with it, they terrorize, bully, dominate, or take over by force other countries because they want to expand their power.
- They have a passionate fear and hatred of free countries, and especially of the United States because it has the military power to destroy any aggressor, and, more importantly, the U.S, at its best, represents a moral and practical repudiation of their rulers, who gain and retain their power only at gunpoint.
- To support coercion, the Four Horsemen give moral and often material support to each other, such as supplying food to prevent starvation and providing goods that free countries will not supply. They also share military technology such as weapons. They have or are building nuclear missiles with the capability of reaching the United States and other free countries. They routinely threaten to use these weapons.
- The least capitalistic of these countries (Iran and North Korea) have a very low standard of living and even starvation.
In sum, these countries have the desire and potential to destroy the free world and bring us to a new Dark Age with them as rulers—a real apocalypse.
So how should we deal with such nations?
There is a solution: a new world order based on freedom.
The free nations of the world should work together to achieve the highest degree of separation possible between their world and the unfree world.
- The first task would be to state and prove that individual rights are objective by showing that they are the basis for pro-human thriving and the only way for people to live together peacefully (Peikoff, 1991).
- Form a new organization, a Society of Free Nations, that has objective standards for membership, such as allowing two or more real parties, honest voting, freedom of speech and the press, separation of powers, the right to private property, and no persecution for “political” crimes. The Four Horsemen would not qualify, nor would petty dictatorships such as Cuba and Venezuela.
- Free nations would favor trade with each other. Insofar as possible, they would avoid or at least limit trade with dictatorships.
- They would have a mutual defense treaty like NATO, and each nation that chose to join would have to contribute their share of money, troops, and weapons for common defense. The joint military organization would have to be capable of defeating any enemy—the assured destruction of any enemy if attacked. (A formal communication channel would be maintained to prevent miscalculations that could lead to conflict).
- They would work to socially isolate themselves from non-member nations, e.g., no joint sports, no visiting artists or scholars, no professional meetings, no visiting scholars, no sightseeing, and the like. By tearing down the illusion of respectability, there would be no implied moral sanction of dictators like they get from the U.N. Note: the idea that cultural exchanges will push dictatorships in the direction of freedom is delusional. They use such exchanges to gain respectability and, when they can, to spread propaganda and help plant spies.
How would ideas like these be received? There is no way to tell. Dictators are subjectivists and do not like to be rejected on the grounds that they are objectively immoral. Over and above denial, they become enraged and threatening when opposed. Observe their favorite and most ridiculous rationalization ever: “Any attempt to defend against us is aggression.”
Recall also this common claim: “We have our own definition of democracy.” They sure do, and it’s called dictatorship! Appeasement of dictators simply increases their confidence in the benefits of aggression.
Freedom is never secure. Just as there will always be street criminals, there will always be those who want to rule others for force. As many have stated, to preserve freedom, we need eternal vigilance and constant action—including moral certainty and the creation of the most advanced technology and unstoppable weapons systems, in addition to a new world order that separates us from the unfree world as much as possible.